Over the course of our country's history, society has had to deal with various important social issues

(abortion, religion, equal rights, abuse and domestic.). One issue, however, remains an extremely pervasive problem, eroding the social fabric of our society. The discrimination of HIV patients in this country, this has affected hundreds of thousands of people, most notably adults all over the world. The effects of discrimination on the victims are, by and large, everlasting, and very debilitating. HIV stigma and discrimination is quite the 'forbidden' topic, as it makes everyone uncomfortable, but this is precisely why it needs to be addressed and dealt with. As such, it forms the basis of my topic: to what extent does discrimination affect persons living with HIV? This topic was chosen because of my interaction with a family member whom has been living with the virus and has faced inequalities to that fact and wants to bring much awareness as people generally become unease towards the virus as not much is highlighted. This will also help in my future endeavors in pursuing a career as a Medical Technician as it will teach me how to work with and appreciate people who are different and how to approach situations which requires sensitivity. Also it helps in my present studies HIV does not discriminate between sex, age, race or status. Ever since it has been discovered in 1981, it has been constantly infecting men, women, adults, newly born children, homosexuals and heterosexuals. . Even though HIV was born in an era of sophisticated medical and surgical developments, it still presently remains incurable. The ways through which the HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, can be transmitted are: blood transfusion, contaminated needles used in drug addiction, from an infected husband to his wife through sexual intercourse, or from an infected mother to her new born baby during pregnancy. Because it is that much spread and so far incurable, HIV has aroused a lot hysterical fears and a number of

The study has proven that daily interaction with AIDS patients’ does not put others at a high risk of infection. It has also been proven that even the exposure to body fluids such as saliva through deep kissing wouldn’t transmit the virus. the risk of AIDS transmission through needless is not more than 0. bath and kitchen. and that is not only unethical but could also cause an increase in the spread of the disease. compared to other diseases.controversies and ethical questions related to the patients’ rights. or by swimming in the same pool with an HIV positive. All people are thinking of is. Although AIDS is not more contagious than any other disease. Therefore. The patients must also have the right to lead a normal life that must be respected by all the public and government too. While some people think that AIDS patients should be isolated in quarantines. that it is a deadly virus. The fact that HIV is no more contagious than any other virus makes the reasons behind the people’s fear of HIV totally illogical. there are no scientifically grounded reasons for the hysterical attitudes and panicky . alienated from the rest of the world. dressing. she studied one hundred and one men and women who were caring for 41 AIDS patients and engaged in all forms of contact with them. like hepatitis B. is not transmitted by shaking hands. They helped HIV patients with many details in their daily life like bathing. others find no reason in this harsh form of separation and discrimination against the infected patients. doctor s rights and the right of the public at large. but there is a lot more to know about HIV than this. eating. its patients are suffering both social and medical discrimination. the risk of developing HIV is lower under similar conditions. or through coughs.9% while risk of hepatitis B is 17%. In a study conducted by Navi Pillay. and sharing toilets. HIV. unlike many viruses. People must be more educated about this virus and how it may be transmitted in order to protect themselves and avoid their constant paranoia about HIV patients. For example.

in addition. and yet are equally discriminatory in their treatment to HIV. They are being forbidden to get the right health care that includes both physicians’ treatment and medical insurance. in summary HIV positives suffer a lot of discrimination from the public at large. It is obvious that shame and discrimination are the two feelings that HIV patients unwillingly will have to face within their society. These inhumane social attitudes are always justified as normal attitudes towards a fatal disease and virus. physicians fear losing their careers. Some do not even treat patients with negative antibody response for they are afraid of being close to a high risk infection group. as well as receive harsh attitudes and maltreatment. physical and psychological aspects of life. these changes don t only affect the patients but they expand to further affect their children lives. HIV patients also face discriminatory treatment from physicians and medical people. She further continued by stating that discrimination enforces on its victims social death which proceeds the actual physical death. However. rented apartments. this gives little excuse for doctors. they become rejected by the family circles and friends and even expelled from schools or universities. and many other social services. Unfortunately. Once they are labeled as HIV patients. AIDS patients still suffer a lot of discrimination and rejection by a society which affects the patients’ social. physicians and nurses who are enlightened enough about the nature of the illness and its mode of transmission. despite these facts. disrespecting their pride and humans rights. According to an interview conducted with Ms. Many physicians refuse to treat patients with HIV because of fear of infection. if there were any. Patients would also be very cautious in going to that doctor so as not to get . Spence. they lose their jobs. especially when not enough when not enough is known about this disease or its method of transmission among the public.overreactions towards HIV patients. Apart from fear of getting the virus. However.

This leaves the HIV patient with no other choice except the forced quarantines. which isolates him from this cruel society until his death. First of all. As for medical insurance companies. It is very frequent that people get infected through blood transfusion or as a newborn. Since the treatment of AIDS is rather expensive. Therefore by discriminating against all AIDS patients on the basis of being infected people. This obligation does not allow the doctor to act according to his fears or uncertainties. they are found to be of a high cost to the company. Even people.infected from the contaminated tools he uses with HIV patients. lose it when they leave their jobs because of their illness. and that s why HIV patients cannot apply for medical insurance. home and friends if they get the . As a result. such discrimination by both physicians and insurance companies are indeed unjust and unethical. doctors avoid receiving HIV patients in their clinics. In either case the patients had no control over their infection unlike getting the virus from drug needles or unprotected sexual intercourse. this discrimination does lots of injustice because it can victimize innocent people. It has been stated that approximately 5% of the current HIV patients do not belong to risk groups. just like any other business. people know that AIDS is going to affect not only them but their families and that they will lose not only their health but also their jobs. Another effect of discrimination against AIDS patients is that it helps the spread of the disease. they seek profit as their very most important goal. we are misjudging those who are victims of this disease. UNAIDS in a report states that discrimination against HIV positives is considered unethical for it is a violation of the principles of the medical profession. It is the obligation of every doctor to treat the patient whether his illness is dangerous and contagious or not. who work in companies with covered medical insurance. or even from sitting beside them in the waiting room. Apart from being unethical. insurance. Therefore.

As stated by Anne Stanger et al Stigma and discrimination are enemies of public health. gay . thus deepening the adverse impact of living with HIV/AIDS. psychological and social needs. This means having the threat of the increase of undetected HIV patients who may spread the virus out of their ignorance. HIV/AIDS related discrimination affects many of the choices that people living with HIV. They create a climate that negatively impacts on effective prevention by discouraging individuals from coming forward for testing. and from seeking information on how to protect themselves and others. and if they are infected. In fact it was declared that those infected with HIV are less dangerous in the spread of the disease than the hundreds who are infected but not identified. including HIV prevention. A stigmatising and discriminating environment has devastating consequences in terms of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS amongst specific population groups. already stigmatised or marginalized communities. or revenge from the discriminating society. HIV-related stigmatisation and discrimination threaten the effectiveness of HIV prevention and care programs. Aside from the fact that discrimination is wrong and unjust. is the lack of basic information about gay issues. it has a destructive impact in particular on disadvantaged. And so people will be afraid of testing to find out if they are infected or not. prevention and education services for fear of being stigmatised by health care and service providers. People at risk of HIV infection or already infected may choose not to access health care.disease. This is aptly demonstrated by the case of gay men and women. One of the strongest examples of homophobia impacting on the lives of gay men. make about being tested and seeking assistance for their physical. they will be scared to announce it in order to avoid discrimination and isolation by the society. frustration.

In conclusion. For some men. liberty and security. or those assumed to be infected violates fundamental human rights. It’s evident that AIDS patients have been constantly facing social and medical . and gay community in schools.identity. Discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. freedom of movement. the right to health. Physicians must also receive proper training to be able to deal with AIDS patients. HIV stigma and discrimination poses a serious threat to the exercise of basic rights. The right to privacy. the right to education. being gay and HIV positive means living in a “double closet” if they decide to keep both their homosexuality and HIV status secret: People with HIV who hide their HIV status can be affected by depression. stress and social isolation. including a lack of information about HIV and safer sex issues relevant to gay youth. housing. freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment. in particular the right to be free from discrimination. and freedom from arbitrary arrest can all be denied or violated due to HIV related stigma and discrimination. To reduce the discrimination against the HIV patient. we can say that it is very important to drop the myths and myths information about the fear that is associated with AIDS (Fleming 3). gay sex. educational campaigns should be done to enlighten the public about proper and safer protection against the virus. and adhering successfully to that treatment. If we can fulfill then that this AIDS could be easily contaminated. and to be reminded that their ethical responsibilities should take priority over personal fears. HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination can adversely affect the exercise of virtually every human right. the right to life. not only the right to be free from discrimination. The need for secrecy about HIV status can also affect whether or not people are receiving lifesaving treatment.

as I had to write questions bearing in mind the varying levels of formal education patients may have had. physicians and AIDS patients too. and this can only be solved by combining the efforts of the public. . The purpose for the article being published was to enlighten the public on the fact that in the past. Formulating questions for this questionnaire was thought provoking.The sources gave justifiable statements and if such research were to be conducted again using identical methods I am confident that it will give similar results. and the amount of time they may have to complete the questionnaire as their time/job can be very demanding. Finding information relative to the specifics of my research proved most challenging. Attempts at garnering statistical data from the Health Center proved futile as they had not want to disclose data on my topic due to the sensitivity of the issue. was considered an old and did not relate much to Caribbean countries. This brought me to consider issuing a questionnaire to both HIV patients and family members of HIV patient. but in recent times. Some issues in conducting the research were evident. this label has changed and more young people are being diagnosed with the disease and the formation of different agencies.discrimination. one of the many lifestyle diseases. Spence and to collect information from archive webpage which made it easier to relate articles pertaining to my topic. It was relatively easy to contact Ms. With that said I would recommend the government conduct a high scale research on this topic and use the results to make decisions for adjusting the national policies regarding the rights of HIV patient through the implementation of more educational programs on this topic. The use of interviews with trained professionals provided the most factual information albeit the most time consuming process . HIV.

Spence was face to face and took place in her office. Secondary sources of articles were also used and taken from the Sudan Daily Gleaner. My third and final source was questionnaires for HIV patients. which allowed for the collection of data from someone who is exposed to HIV patients on a daily basis. and UNAIDS . and can monitor the effects of discrimination on them. HIV patients were also chosen due to the fact they firsts hand knowledge of the topic. My second source was a questionnaire geared towards the family members of HIV patients at the Lucea Health Center. Spence a medical personnel at the Lucea Health Center. who upon contact agreed to meet with me for interview. Also . The first source was Ms. I got first hand reports from three sources. This allowed for the collection of reliable data due to the fact that they have witnessed the adverse effect that it has had on people and should be able to relate to the issue of discrimination.The interview with Ms. as they have had similar or related experiences to the situation. patients would often communicate with the parish manager to ensure all actions are recorded. Family members of HIV patients were selected to give information based on their experiences with discrimination and how it affects and hinder their progress of their loved ones. For example when a patient is being discriminated against. Tackling HIV related stigma and discrimination.To capture the full essence of this topic.

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